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The Ultimate Burger


Burgers are delicious on their own, but they’re also a blast to add condiments to. Follow these tips and you’ll be in burger heaven.


Prepare the Burgers

1. Preheat grill to very hot.
2. Make patties about one to one and a half inches (three to four centimeters) thick and about four inches (10 centimeters) wide, or about one-third of a pound (150 grams), and pack tightly. Don’t add your grandmother’s bread crumbs (they’ll burn) or any eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Sear for two minutes, and cook with low heat for five minutes. Flip, sear two minutes, and cook for two to four more minutes, depending on desired doneness. Sounds simple, right? Here’s where the fun part comes in.

Prepare the Fixin's

To me, a burger is a blank canvas waiting to be doctored up. Here’s what I love to add as options for customizing your burger:

1. First of all, the bun choice is essential. You want soft, sweet, and large buns. Not those buns that get so soggy in two seconds that they fall apart. Yuck… you end up with coleslaw and mustard running down your shirt. You gotta toast that bun. Added flavor and crunch! And naturally, do it on the grill.
2. To prepare three of my favorite toppings, you can use the same technique: Fresh whole heads of garlic, tops trimmed off, sliced purple onions, and portabella mushroom caps (sliced regular mushrooms are also a viable option). Wrap in a tight ball of foil with some olive oil and a little kosher salt and fresh herbs, then just leave them on the top rack of the grill. Mushrooms need about 15 minutes, and garlic and onions about 35 minutes. Make sure to make more than you think you need because this stuff goes FAST!
3. And the king of all burger toppings — the crispy fried egg, sunny-side up, runny yolk, and all. Most grills have a side flame. That’s what I use for the eggs, and I make them to order. Otherwise, the grill top works perfectly fine. A super-hot pan with olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt is the key to making the perfect crispy egg.
4. Once you have the frying pan there anyway, you can do sautéed onions or mushrooms as well — remember to season with kosher salt!
5. Another great pan-made topping is beef fry. Grow & Behold sent us some for the photo shoot and it was by far the most flavorful one I’ve ever tasted!
6. The non-grilled toppings are obvious: pickles, lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, guacamole… The list goes on. Barbecue sauce has a good place here as well, but as a condiment like ketchup, not on the grill.


Photography: Hudi Greenberger

Styling: Janine Kalesis